(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

78                                       EXTENT OF   THE BEAJ-MANDAL,

In the VaraM Purana, or rather in the interpolated section of that work
known as the Mathura Mahatmya, the Mathura Mandal is described as twenty
yojanas in extent.

U

n

" My Mathura circle is one of twenty yojanas ; by bathing at any place

therein a man is redeemed from all his sins."

And taking the yojana as 7 miles and the kos as 1| mile, 20 yojanas would
be nearly equal to 84 kos, the popular estimate of the distance travelled by the
pilgrims in performing the Pari-krama, or £ perambulation' of Braj, It is pro-
bable that if an accurate measurement were made, this would be found a very
rough approximation to the actual length of the way ; though liberal allowance
must be made for the constant ins and outs, turns and returns, which ultimately
result in the circuit of a not very wide-spread area. There can be no doubt
that the number 84, which in ancient Indian territorial divisions occurs as fre-
quently as a hundred in English counties, and which enters largely into every
cycle of Hindu legend and cosmogony, was originally selected for such general
adoption as being the multiple of the number of months in the year with the
number of days in the week. It is therefore peculiarly appropriate in connec-
tion with the Braj Mandal ; if Krishna, in whose honour the perambulation is
performed, be regarded as the Indian Apollo, or Sun-God. Thus, the magnifi-
cent temple in Kashmir, dedicated to the sun tinder the title of Martand, has a
colonnade of exactly 84 pillars,*

It is sometimes said that the circle originally must have been of wider extent

than now, since the city of Mathura, which is described as its centre, is more
than 30 miles distant from the most northern point, Kotban, and only six from
Ttim to tlie south ; and Elliot in his glossary quotes the following couplet as

Ixing its limits : —

si nw ira^r srii n
" On one side Bar, on another Sona. on the tBird the town of Surasen ;
these are the limits of the B-aj C%aurasi? the Mathura circle."
•Mr. Fergnsson; in bis Indian ArcMtectnret doubts whether this temple was ever reallj dedi-
cated to the sun, la so doing lie only betrays bis wonted linguistic ignorance. Martacd is not,
as be supposes, simply a place-name, without any known connoiatioo, but is the actual dedi*
catkwi title of the temple itself.